Author Topic: Rigging Spanners  (Read 9094 times)

Offline Pitlamp

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Rigging Spanners
« on: February 27, 2012, 07:35:25 pm »
Out of interest (and prompted by a comment of Les W's) what's the modern recommended way of carrying a rigging spanner?

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2012, 07:38:36 pm »
In the forearm pocket on your Exped[tm] suit, like this:



My uber-cool double-ended spanner for M8s and M10s. NB: No bungee, just acrylic cord(ingly).

Offline Anon

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2012, 07:40:57 pm »
What if you've not got a pocket?

Offline Les W

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2012, 07:45:46 pm »
Out of interest (and prompted by a comment of Les W's) what's the modern recommended way of carrying a rigging spanner?

Not sure there is a "modern" way of carrying a spanner. Surely there's no need for a spanner nowadays, it's all rig by numbers...

 :unsure:
I'm a very busy person

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2012, 07:49:41 pm »
It might be all clip-ring on trade routes but there's plenty of places where 8 mm hangers are the norm.

None of my wetsuits has an arm pocket so, like Duncan, I'm still interested in alternatives.

Chris - what stops your spanner from continually falling out of that pocket - is it just a tight fit?

Also, what sort of (useful looking) elbow pad is that?

Thanks.

Offline Les W

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2012, 07:53:25 pm »
Being an "old lag" I still carry my rigging spanner tucked under a snoopy loop on my arm.
It is always to hand and just tucks out the way when not needed.
I don't see an easier way of dealing with the spanner whilst rigging

I'm a very busy person

Offline paul

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2012, 07:56:53 pm »
For the odd occasion when I do need a spanner, I use one which I bought in Inglesport many years ago which is a box spanner with a small carbine hook to use as a handle and just clip it via the carbine hook to a carabiner.
The advantage of these is that you don't have the extra leverage of the usual ring or open-ended spanner and hence helps prevent stripping threads by over-tightening.

i.e. one of these:


with one of these through one of the holes:



I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2012, 07:59:10 pm »
Ah, thanks Les - so do I.

I thought I was missing something.

I'd be really interested to know what breed of elbow pad was in the photo which Chris kindly posted.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2012, 08:00:14 pm »
Paul - how do you deal with ring hangers?

Offline paul

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2012, 08:02:16 pm »
Paul - how do you deal with ring hangers?

Simple - just use Petzl Bends and Twists or what used to be called Clowns (could be called Coeur I thnk now) where you would probably use a ring hanger.
I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2012, 08:07:01 pm »
but what if a ring hanger is the best option?

Offline paul

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2012, 08:09:50 pm »
Then my spanner is no good! But I think the Petzl Clown would cover practically any situation where a ring hanger would be needed (captive rope, no krab or maillon, can take a 90 degree loading):



I did also have a spanner like Les's with a snoopy loop but lost it while en route to a cave in the Dales.

Nowadays the problem doesn't arise much with either resin anchors or drive-through bolts with their hangers left in place.
I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2012, 08:16:41 pm »
Thanks for your latest Paul - sorry, I guess my requirements are slightly specialised. I used ring hangers a few days ago, 175 m into a sump. I had to winch a large boulder out of the way and the angle of the force generated was wrong for other sorts of hanger. (No-one else has been there so there aren't any P hangers!)

At which point I really ought to thank a certain purveyor of caving equipment from a van bearing the name "Starless River" for stocking such a wide range of gear in his Tardis-like vehicle, which allowed the aforementioned dive to go ahead in the first place!

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2012, 08:18:16 pm »
I also should have said that you can't clip the winch directly to a Clown-type hanger, hence the choice of normal ring hangers.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2012, 08:19:58 pm »
It's a snug fit (flat) pocket with velcro which holds the spanner in place; the elbow pad is the standard no frills adjustable type made by Warmbac; they can adjust right down for use by children as both knee pads and elbow pads, too, which makes them versatile and my default No.1 choice.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2012, 08:24:23 pm »
Many thanks Chris!

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2012, 08:26:36 pm »
Paul, how do you minimise any risk of dropping your box spanner and krab/spanner/maillon/lever while rigging rebelays etc.?

Offline paul

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2012, 08:52:50 pm »
A 4 or 5 mm cord tied to the carbine hook with a loop at the other end around my wrist while using the spanner.
I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!

Offline rsch

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2012, 09:00:03 pm »
I'm still interested in alternatives.

Here's one which someone will be along to criticise any moment now, that's what the internet's for after all  ;D

I never quite got on with the arm loop, so my spanner lives on my harness. You will see:

* it's in 4mm cord rather than elastic, so it needs to be long enough to reach to the full extent my hand can stretch to

* the potential overlength problem of a big loop round my knee is dealt with by an alpine butterfly mid-cord so I can tidy the full cord loop out of the way when I need to

* the harness gear-loop end of the cord is a double figure eight with the spanner and whole cord fed through it so it can be unlooped and transferred to someone else if necessary but remains secure enough that I can't ordinarily chuck it down the pitch unless I really want to

* the spanner end has a slight overkill extra loop in a different size\colour cord so there's something to catch my eye and I can tell the difference between the different knot loops without having to think at all hard - I don't know whether this is more or less complicated for whatever (lack of) vis you may be operating in, but it works fine in air!

* it all hangs nice and tidy on a small krab when it needs to and can just dangle on the cord if I let go between bolts

It works fine for me. Your mileage may vary!


Offline Les W

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2012, 09:08:41 pm »
Not a criticism of your technique, but a general observation.

I have noticed lots of people that use spanners when rigging seem to use the open end rather than the ring.
Whilst I realise the ring offers a really useful place to tie/clip into, it isn't the most efficent use of the spanner. Using the ring is much better for the bolt heads and it is much less likely to slip off the bolt head, causing "gravel rash" on your knuckles as you glance them off the rock wall with some force...

Anyway, like I said, just an observation.  ;)
I'm a very busy person

Offline paul

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2012, 09:13:07 pm »
Now that we've drifted far away from the original Topic, it would probably be worth splitting this into the original subject, cowstails and spanners for hangers...
I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!

Offline Les W

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2012, 09:27:19 pm »
 :thumbsup:
Now that we've drifted far away from the original Topic, it would probably be worth splitting this into the original subject, cowstails and spanners for hangers...

 :thumbsup:
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2012, 09:37:59 pm »
I'll not criticise your method rsch; thanks for making the effort to post the image.

You have a good point Les. At least one of my caving spanners is double open-ended; one end fits 8 mm bolts and the other fits the main harness Maillon. (Yes I know that various SRT items can also be used as makeshift spanners to release a jammed big D Maillon.) I just tie the string to the shaft of this spanner and it seems to work OK. I suppose I prefer an open ended 13 mm spanner (for 8 mm bolts) rather than a 13 mm ring spanner because it works on everything - ring hangers included.

I apologise for my participation in the downfall of this topic! Paul's idea of splitting it does make lots of sense.

Offline Les W

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2012, 09:42:25 pm »
13mm ring spanner works on ring hangers as well, and because it has many "faces" it is easier to get on than an open ended spanner in restricted places where you cannot get at least a 1/6th turn.
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Offline Rob

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2012, 07:30:05 am »
This is surely best of both worlds:


We used them in Crete when rigging with screw-in multimonti bolts and found them ideal. So quick and very tough.

As for attaching, 3mm cord around the main shaft to make a loop, taped on with electrical tape, then bungy between loop and snoopy loop on wrist.
The end is where we start....

Offline potholer

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2012, 11:29:38 am »
Flexible ratchet spanners with a hinge at the ring end can be good if a bolt isn't on a flat wall.

Offline Anon

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2012, 02:17:15 pm »
I think what Rob and potholer describe is similar to what I have at present:


Elastic cord to go over arm if needs be, or maillon to clip into (had this lying around spare for years until I finally found a use for it!) then bog standard accessory cord to the middle of flexi-ratchet spanner, tied and then taped with electrical tape. Might not be the best method or tidiest setup but it does the job. (Thinking about it, could probably do with longer cord and a knot in the middle with a loop to clip into)

Offline Roger W

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2012, 07:23:34 pm »
Maybe this guy has a technique worth investigating....





"That, of course, is the dangerous part about caves:  you don't know how far they go back, sometimes... or what is waiting for you inside."   JRR Tolkein: "The Hobbit"

Offline cavermark

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2012, 07:37:39 pm »
I find bungy good to limit tangles and allows either hand to be used from arm attachment loop.

A hole can be drilled in the shaft of the spanner for attachment loop, to allow ring end to be open.

Been promising myself a ratchet spanner - 13mm is the size to tighten a Merc vito van handbrake cable too!

Offline jarvist

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #29 on: February 29, 2012, 02:40:55 am »
I have a fairly tight wrist loop of bungee, onto which my spanner is tied by a 45cm length of 2mm accessory cord. I can use the closed end on bolts just fine, the bit of cord actually helps keep it in place. It mostly lives in my Meander pocket with the cord looped from head-to-tail (the knot through the ring end gives just enough purchase to loop over). When I'm not immediate using it, I loop the cord around my wrist, then poke the spanner through a twist in the bungee, takes two seconds and is more than secure enough for drilling the next bolt / prussicing to the next rebelay.

     

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Re: Underground mishaps and other incidents...
« Reply #30 on: February 29, 2012, 10:40:03 am »
13mm ring spanner works on ring hangers as well, and because it has many "faces" it is easier to get on than an open ended spanner in restricted places where you cannot get at least a 1/6th turn.

Yes, of course you're right Les.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #31 on: February 29, 2012, 10:53:53 am »
Here's my dual ended M8 & M10 spanner; a gift from a Spanish caving friend.  :)


Offline Joel Corrigan

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #32 on: February 29, 2012, 11:58:16 am »
Can't wait for the next exciting thread on here: could it be "Caving Underpants" by any chance??

Er, for what it's worth fancy torque wrenches are all very well but I don't think people should forget the need for an open-ended spanner to deal with maillons.  And surely the only reason to have string on your spanner is so that you can turn it into a sketchy prussick loop or to cut through your abseil rope when you least expect it?!  It's gotta be bungee every time for me as in the real world the hanger isn't going to be directly in front of your face & cord isn't known for it's elastic qualities....

Offline Duncan

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #33 on: February 29, 2012, 02:42:32 pm »
My preferred setup is a shortened ring spanner on a very short bungy cord with a loop round my right wrist - the cord is just long enough that the spanner can hang down into a potition where it can be gripped by my right hand. When not in use the spanner sits inside the elasticated cuff of my sleeve. If I can't reach the bolt with my right hand, I simply slip the spanner onto my left wrist, but I seldom seem to need to do this.

This setup is extremely compact and lightweight, and has essentially no tendency to catch on things, fall off, or get tangled up.

Duncan.

Offline jarvist

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #34 on: March 05, 2012, 09:56:39 pm »
It's gotta be bungee every time for me as in the real world the hanger isn't going to be directly in front of your face & cord isn't known for it's elastic qualities....

However, I can guarantee that any hanger you'll ever tighten will be within 20cm of a wrist as you do it...  ::)
Seriously though, I got a lot more happy with my spanner set up once I stopped having it on my upper arm, and lost 50% of the bulk of the material.

Offline hrock

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #35 on: March 27, 2012, 04:22:34 am »
i have a flexi head short ratcheting ring spanner open at the other end. a bit like dunc's picture but i think that is way too long and the ones with out flexi heads like rob's one are very anoying as nearly always the rock gets in the way or you gloves catch the swich and turn it to back wards.

then i tie a short bit of string round the middle with a barrle knot and put a small loop in the other end only about 1 inch away so i can clip it to a crab on my gear loop.

when you use it if you dont let go of it you dont drop it. not having meters of string means that your dont get tagled up you can use it in both hands at full strech. just dont lend it to any one elce as they will drop it (but if i am bolting then i do but a spare cheapo spanner in the darren drum with a spare drill bit etc.

you can get things that are like a though bolt but insted of thred sticking out there is a hole that might save you even taking a spanner to move the bolders?



i can  only find them in 6mm hole witch i am guessing is a bit weedy but you might find bigger.
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Offline hrock

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #36 on: March 27, 2012, 04:37:34 am »
or even

http://www.fastfixdirect.co.uk/code/navigation.asp?fType=Fasteners&MainCategoryID=9&ProductCategoryID=248&PageID=2

as thinking about it you will be hand drilling them under water i would guess and this should fit in a spit ok for the sake of pulling a bolder
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Offline Alex

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #37 on: March 28, 2012, 06:45:22 pm »
I got one of them attatched to a bungi cord, I simply slip it between me and my harness when I am not using it. It don't get in the way.
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Offline Joel Corrigan

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #38 on: March 29, 2012, 10:29:04 am »
It's gotta be bungee every time for me as in the real world the hanger isn't going to be directly in front of your face & cord isn't known for it's elastic qualities....

However, I can guarantee that any hanger you'll ever tighten will be within 20cm of a wrist as you do it...  ::)

"Of a wrist": correct.  But which one?  With these short cords that people are talking about you wouldn't be able to reach the bolt that's off on the other side without transferring it to the other arm and that way madness lies.....  Caves don't always play the game by allowing you to place bolts in textbook locations so we have to be able to reach into daft positions to be able to drill & fix.  If you're just tightening the occasional bolt then anything will suffice but if you're dropping a big pitch series or climbing avens then I believe that a longer bungee still rules.  And I'm a very open-minded chap (!) but I'm not convinced that having the spanner glued to one hand is of much use in the real world unless you've got Go-Go-Gadget Telescopic Arms!!!

Offline jarvist

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #39 on: March 29, 2012, 10:52:11 am »
If you're just tightening the occasional bolt then anything will suffice but if you're dropping a big pitch series or climbing avens

Seemed fine to solo derig a 550m pitch series in the summer, removing 120-150 plates & maillons  as I went. Thinking back, I think it was OK at rigging the majority of said pitch series a few weeks previously.

I like the fact that if I choose to drop it (after removing the plate), it ends up at a sensible height, rather than wrapped around stuff below me. Transferring hands takes seconds, though I honestly didn't have to often do it. Sometimes I reach across with both hands + tighten with the other, I quite often do this anyway, putting a steadying hand against the rock near the plate as a undo it (or lifting the rope and maillon to take weight off it). Of course, if you're putting in a plate, you're holding the plate with the other hand until you get the screw thread started anyway.

Offline potholer

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #40 on: March 29, 2012, 12:23:36 pm »
But then you do have rather long arms...

Offline marysboy

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #41 on: March 29, 2012, 12:27:17 pm »
i often 'go leashless' these days and simply carry the spanner in a dangly bag.

but then i do like to live life on the edge...

Offline TheGrave

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #42 on: November 29, 2018, 02:59:34 am »
Here's my dual ended M8 & M10 spanner; a gift from a Spanish caving friend.  :)



I'd kill a friend for this, my friend  ;D

Any clue about make or model?

Offline TheGrave

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #43 on: November 29, 2018, 04:18:47 am »

I'd kill a friend for this, my friend  ;D

Any clue about make or model?

Scratch that and look at this!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B001NYX44G/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&psc=1

If only we could find an alternative that didn't cost a kidney for a piece of metal...

Offline topcat

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #44 on: November 29, 2018, 07:38:13 am »
I use a stubby ratchet ring with the other end open ,
attached via snoopy loop on my arm.

The ratchet is superb, very fast and easy to use. If course it is susceptible to mud and grit but so far no issues.  I put it away for muddy crawls etc and maintain it.  The open end is there as a back up in the event of mid cave failure of the ratchet.  Which would probably just seize and operate as a non ratchet ring spanner so no big issue.

The short length helps prevent over tightening which is a major spit killer.

Offline SamT

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #45 on: November 29, 2018, 07:53:08 am »
Is this post some sort of retro 80s post?

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #46 on: November 29, 2018, 09:01:22 am »
Scratch that and look at this!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B001NYX44G/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&psc=1

If only we could find an alternative that didn't cost a kidney for a piece of metal...

Problem with ring spanners is you can't always get them onto the thing...

I have a spanners with a flexi head ratchet ring on one end (non-reversing, just turn it round!) and a normal open-ended spanner on the other - one in M8, one in M10.

Like this:
https://www.zoro.co.uk/shop/hand-tools/ratchet-combination/professional-flex-head-ratchet-combination-spanners-metric/f/5260

but I think mine are Halford Professional off eBay.

I don't think I've ever used the M10 one and probably wouldn't need it on exped (because everything is standardized on M8) so having M8 and M10 on the same spanner is probably not that useful. What _would_ be nice would be an open-ended ratchet spanner for those many hangers where the ring doesn't fit...

Offline topcat

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #47 on: November 29, 2018, 09:40:12 am »
Is this post some sort of retro 80s post?

No, but it is a clear indication that contrary to what some would have you believe, spits are still very much in use down our caves :)

Offline TheGrave

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #48 on: November 29, 2018, 11:45:26 am »
Scratch that and look at this!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B001NYX44G/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&psc=1

If only we could find an alternative that didn't cost a kidney for a piece of metal...

Problem with ring spanners is you can't always get them onto the thing...

I have a spanners with a flexi head ratchet ring on one end (non-reversing, just turn it round!) and a normal open-ended spanner on the other - one in M8, one in M10.

Like this:
https://www.zoro.co.uk/shop/hand-tools/ratchet-combination/professional-flex-head-ratchet-combination-spanners-metric/f/5260

but I think mine are Halford Professional off eBay.

I don't think I've ever used the M10 one and probably wouldn't need it on exped (because everything is standardized on M8) so having M8 and M10 on the same spanner is probably not that useful. What _would_ be nice would be an open-ended ratchet spanner for those many hangers where the ring doesn't fit...

What is the problem normally, rusty bolt head? Or perhaps "non-standard" nut size? Just spoke with a friend who purchases nuts and bolts frequently, said he got an M10 in 15mm:

https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/metric-bolt-head-wrench-size-d_1458.html?fbclid=IwAR3VVL8sUYLQlDtAJwvzuzkWj6Iok9pr0D7ACdqSiUqyO9f0I8sZ5U9jcAM

DIN should be the norm for Europe as per my understanding so 17mm key is what we should have in the pocket, right?

Btw not a big fan of this flexi-head, I'd rather use something like this:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Reversible-13mm-Ratchet-Spanner-Wrench-5-Ratcheting-15-Offset/142948096583?hash=item21485eda47:g:vhkAAOSwPQ9bphr3:rk:30:pf:0

Is this post some sort of retro 80s post?

No, but it is a clear indication that contrary to what some would have you believe, spits are still very much in use down our caves :)

Sorry for resurrecting an old topic but I think quite some people are facing these questions when purchasing wrenches so hopefully it will be useful for the future generations :)

Whether it's a nut or a bolt you still need a tool to fasten/unfasten it, right :) ? Spits on M10 are quite rare but anchor bolts on M10 are most def present in Bulgaria, mainly from rescue training events.

Offline AlexR

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #49 on: November 29, 2018, 01:16:39 pm »
I don't trust myself with those long spanners, more risk of stripping a thread, taking a concrete screw top off, etc.. A small spanner also fits better under my elbow pad  :) Annoyingly stubbies are more expensive than their long counterparts, no idea why.

Pretty standard setup, snoopy loop around my upper arm, elastic to keep it. The elastic is a little too long, been meaning to change it for ages but never got round to it.
Personally I'd really want an open ended side, I like to make maillons spanner tight when rigging something for a while both for safety and to make it less likely someone will pinch them.

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Rigging Spanners
« Reply #50 on: November 29, 2018, 02:23:51 pm »
What is the problem normally, rusty bolt head? Or perhaps "non-standard" nut size?

On a twist (right angled) hanger, there is physically not enough space between the nut and the hanger to get the ring on (at least on Raumer M8 twist hangers). It might be because I have a ratcheting one; a non-ratcheting one might fit.

Quote from: TheGrave
DIN should be the norm for Europe as per my understanding so 17mm key is what we should have in the pocket, right?

Yes? (at least my never-used M10 bolts are)